Instagram is soaring these days and the numbers are too big to ignore. It has become the fastest growing social network in the United States and the trend won’t be slowing any time soon. According to new research from eMarketer, the number of Instagram users grew by 60% last year which translates to a U.S. monthly user base of 64.2 million people. The annual growth rate won’t taper off to single digits until 2018 and, by that time, Instagram’s U.S. user base will be solidly above 100 million.
The rapid growth in 2014 allowed Instagram to bypass Twitter and slide comfortably into position as the second largest social media network in the United States. Facebook remains the big kid on the block in 2015 with a user base amounting to half of the U.S. population. Instagram garners 24% of the U.S. and Twitter comes in a distant third with 16.5%.
What does it mean for marketers?
While overall numbers are very strong, teens and millennials make up the biggest chunk of Instagram’s user base. The 25-to-34 age group is the largest demographic cell representing a 26.2% share of total users. Looking at audience segments vertically, the highest demographic penetration remains in the 12-to-17 age group with 61.9% of all U.S. teens using Instagram regularly. Great news for marketers targeting the younger demos!
What about other audience segments? Am I ready to recommend Instagram for luxury consumer advertising or B2B marketing? Not yet. But I’m also convinced that Instagram’s simplicity and its basic premise – photo sharing – will soon capture the imagination of a much broader audience. Baby Boomers and some Generation X folks may be a bit slower at adopting new technologies and social media platforms. But when they discover an advantage, they jump onboard quickly and become active regular users. (Look a Facebook!) When that happens, Instagram will become a much richer marketing platform, limited only by imagination and the communication potential of photographs and video. Instagram’s future is very bright!